Legal experts in the Consumer Protection Act say that the bank locker theft case — where many consumers lost their valuables — is approachable through the consumer court as the bank is at fault. They, however, added that it would be a challenge for the consumers to claim for the losses in absence of any evidence to prove their claim. It is going to be a case where the consumer, in absence of the evidence, must generate confidence in their claim for the court to believe them.
Advocate Shirish Deshpande, chairman of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, is confident enough that the case is fit for the consumers to fight in the consumer’s forum as there was a severe breach of trust from the bank’s end.
Consumers used to pay for the lockers which they were using, but the services were not provided.
The main concern is the quantum of compensation, as people will not be able to establish their claim. As most of the bills of jewelry kept in lockers are not traceable.
Advocate Deshpande claims that to avoid such instances in future, the banks should mandatorily ask its consumers to insure their valuables.
Consumers who have lost their valuables in a bank locker theft case which took place in a Navi Mumbai branch of Bank of Baroda in November, have already slapped the bank with a notice, informing that they would be pulling the bank to the consumer forum for its deficiency in services.
Praveen Thakur, a victim, while speaking to DNA said, “I had valuables worth Rs 20 lakh in my locker — which included many gold and silver ornaments. I have lost everything.